2020 hopeful Michael Bennet: 'I don't think I'm out of step' in saying socialism is not the answer

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetImpeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary MORE (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on Sunday that his dismissal of socialism as a solution for America is not out of the mainstream for the Democratic Party.

"I don't think I'm out of step," Bennet told ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we have 230 years of being the longest-lived democracy on the planet. That's something we need to preserve."

 

 

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Bennett made the comments in response to a viral moment in which his fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperFor a healthy aging workforce policy, look to Colorado Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Hickenlooper raised .8 million for Colorado Senate bid in fourth quarter of 2019 MORE, was booed at the California Democratic Convention over the weekend for saying a candidate espousing socialism could not defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE in 2020.

Quipping that Hickenlooper’s primary error was “denounc[ing] socialism in San Francisco,” Bennet conceded that “we have had 40 years of no economic mobility in the United States … 90 percent of the American people have not shared in the economic growth over the last 40 years.”

For those not reached by the benefits of economic growth, Bennet said, “those periods of economic growth have acted as a recession, and as a result, they can’t afford the basic components of a middle-class life.”

A poor American’s chances of advancing to the middle class, Bennet added, are lower now than they have been in generations.

“That is tearing at our democracy, and if we don’t figure out a way to address it… we’re going to have real problems,” he said, saying that candidates need not embrace socialism to believe in the idea that “everyone has a share in our prosperity.”

Bennet, who is on the moderate end of the Democratic primary field, made headlines last week when he volunteered to work with one of the faces of the progressive flank of his party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezImpeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa The Hill's Campaign Report: Ten days to Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), and one of the most conservative Republican senators, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzJordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power GOP-Biden feud looms over impeachment trial MORE (R-Texas), on legislation to ban former members of Congress from corporate lobbying.